NBA Free Agency 2017 has featured major moves and a fair share of shrewd moves by teams like Houston, Boston, and others to get better. Even Brooklyn made moves that while not making them a playoff team, increases their competitiveness over the next couple of years. All of this begs the question – What has the New York Knicks done this off-season?
After the dismissal/firing of Phil Jackson, the Knicks seemed to have no real direction. At the very least the team had a focus with Jackson at the helm, even though the focus was misguided and aged. The problem with Jackson being discarded so late in the off-season was that the Knicks had to switch course and change philosophy. This change in philosophy resulted in the Knicks signing Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million deal.
Hardaway showed flashes late last season with the Hawks as he finished averaging 14.5 points per game. He was one of the players that had a future with the Knicks until Jackson traded him because he believed his skill set did not mesh with the Triangle Offense. The problem with this move is that it adds a ton of money to the payroll as the team, which is typical, was bidding against themselves for Hardway. Hardway is a good player but is he a $17 million player?
Besides overpaying for second-year player Ron Baker, the Knicks has not done anything of consequence besides signing Hardway. Oh yeah, they did manage to turn away a young, hungry general manager with a championship under his belt. David Griffin, who was let go by the Cavaliers after the season, was a prime candidate for the Knicks’ general manager position and from reports, Griffin wanted the job. Instead, James Dolan’s blind loyalty to Steve Mills, who is rumored to move to the president role with the team, made Griffin withdraw his name from consideration.
All of this, including the convoluted four-team trade rumors concerning Carmelo Anthony, has many wondering the same thing — what are the Knicks doing?
It seems as if there is no direction for this team and everything hinges on the team moving Anthony’s contract to free up cap space. Unfortunately, the team has the anchors that are contracts of Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah on the books, which leaves many moves the Knicks can not do at this point.
The lack of signings and trades to his point shows that the Knicks may just chalk this season up as a rebuilding year. They realize that they need a general manager and a philosophy that they currently do not have. It takes months for a team to develop a culture and at this point, the Knicks does not have one. Knicks’ fans should strap in for a painful season of basketball because based on what they have done, it is evident that the franchise still has no clue and never will as long as James Dolan owns the team.